Monday, May 16, 2011

Cheap Haircuts

In an effort to start saving money now, and also transition into a more low key lifestyle, I've been looking for low cost alternatives to my expenses. I had a slight victory this week, in the haircut department.

My hair gets pretty shaggy pretty quickly, and I find myself needing a haircut as soon as my bangs start to get in my eyes. Now, there is an even cheaper alternative to my method, which is to get a friend to do it for you, but I haven't found anyone willing to do more than a buzz, and I don't look good as a jarhead. So I expanded my options, and found beauty school.

Now, it seems like every town has a beauty school, where young women - and men - go to learn how to give manis and petis and cut hair. They are constantly looking for live test subjects, and will give haircuts for much cheaper rates than a salon. For example, if I went to a place like CuttingCrew, our local in Binghamton, a cut with a tip would run me anywhere from 17-20 bucks. At the beauty school? Ten bucks. All you have to do is sign a waiver saying that you won't bitch and moan if a young stylist to be messes up your hair. Or lops off an ear. Cuz it's hard out there, learning to cut hair.

So next time you're in need of a cheap cut, look up a beauty school.

New Wheels

So I bought a truck. It's a '99 Toyota Tacoma SR5 Xtracab 4wd. The idea is that I want to be able to live out of it full time after I graduate. So how am I going to go about doing that?

Well to start, I bought a camper shell, a Leer 148 for the extra head room. New caps cost anywhere from 1500-2000 dollars or more. I picked this one up used off of Craigslist for 100 bucks.

So what now? As I'm planning out the layout for the truck, I've divided it into four sections. First is the front seat area of the cab, which will be for driving myself and whoever is in the passenger seat. Second will be the seats behind the front seats, which I plan in turning into storage. I'm going to make a platform to level the bench seats and fill the space in between each row of seats, giving me an even platform to store gear. In this space, I see more of my living gear, clothes, blankets, etc.

In the bed, I am going to build a sleeping platform. I haven't quite figured out the exact design, but I want to build it around Rubbermaid containers, so that I have to sections; beneath the platforms, which will be storage for gear, like paddle clothes, cookset, etc. and above which will be the sleeping area, with whatever pad i decide on, sleeping bag, small light, etc.

Another thing I want to incorporate, if I can, is a solar powered battery. I want it to be small, but powerful enough that I can charge my cameras, power my laptop, etc. This way I don't have to poach power with an extension cord.

It's still in the planning stages, but this summer I want to start by weatherproofing the cap and building the platforms. We'll see how it goes

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Updates, Where I See This Going

Hey guys,

I haven't posted in a while, other than to use a few posts as a dumpling place for pictures. Hopefully that will change. Summer is coming along, and with it, my job in New Jersey where some times the tedium lends itself to blog posts. I need to get in the habit of posting more, so I'll try to put three short ones up this week. The first one deals with what I am trying to do, and how I see this blog playing a roll in that.

I will be graduating college in approximately seven months, with degrees in history and political philosophy. As of yet, I am sure of only one thing; I don't want to go to law school, grad school, or into a career. So I am going to take some time and travel.

But at the same time, I have begun to seriously look at whitewater canoeing as a lifestyle, a vehicle that can take me into the next chapter of my life. Right now canoeing is an escape, a way for me to connect with the natural world in a very unique and special way. I think because whitewater canoeing is a niche area of a niche sport, that uniqueness is very appealing. But at the same time, I want more people to canoe. I think canoeing is absolutely the most legal fun you can have in this country, and I want more people to experience it. So where does that leave me?

I think I want to spend some time over the next few years promoting whitewater canoeing. I want to progress into Class V whitewater (I'm a noob IV right now) and as I progress I want to bring more and more people into the sport. Most of all, I want to get a canoe company that shares this vision and will let me help them with a marketing strategy to expand the industry. Will it happen? Who knows...time will tell.

But as I finish my last seven months of the relative security of college, I will use this blog as a means to detail the planning that goes into this endeavor. I've already bought a pick-up truck - there will be a post on that soon - and my next step is to outfit my truck so that I can live in it long term. Hopefully I'll be able to showcase each step along the way. Also, I'll hopefully be paddling more this summer, as I need the weekend to escape from the computer screen-filled week. And finally, I want to make this blog more personal, so that those who follow me on this journey actually feel like they might know me. We'll see how it goes.

Now, to motivate myself to actually keep up with this blogging...